State Update

California Debates Community College Tuition

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A.B. 955, sponsored by Assemblymember Das Williams (D-CA), passed the full Assembly on May 20 by a vote of 50-16, was sent to the Senate, and has been referred to committee. The bill authorizes California Community College (CCC) districts to offer self-supporting extension programs during summer and winter intersessions, where students pay nonresident tuition of around $200 per unit, versus the state-funded courses that charge $46 per unit, provided that the CCC districts have been at enrollment capacity for the prior two years. In addition, one-third of the revenues collected by the extension program must go to provide financial assistance for low-income students.

According to Assemblymember Williams, citing data gathered by the Public Policy Institute of California, California community colleges have cut almost 100,000 courses and turned away more than 600,000 students since 2007. More than 500,000 students were on waiting lists at the beginning of the 2012 fall semester.